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2018 Ford Transit 3.7 V6 148 medium roof: unable to slow vehicle down, continues to drive.

Our company has a fleet of expedite courier vans, mostly Chevrolet Express, Mercedes Sprinter, and couple Transits.
One of our Transit drivers, while driving in a winter storm on 219 approaching I86 near Allegany State Park NY last November, experienced total inability to slow the Transit down, resulting in a situation that could have easily culminated in multiple fatalities. According to his statement, the brake pedal became inoperational, steering became stiff, while the vehicle continued to cruise at approximately 75 km/h, without his foot being on the accelerator pedal (this Transit does NOT have cruise control).
This continued for about 10-15 minutes, with the driver attempting everything possible to stop the van, including applying the emergency brake, and shifting into various gears, including reverse, with NO effect. The driver noticed the reverse camera display turn on in the rear view mirror, while the vehicle was driving forward. The driver was also able to turn the ignition key to the ‘off’ position and physically remove the key, and the vehicle still continued moving forward.

Eventually, he succeeded in bringing the vehicle to a halt and contacted the company dispatch in a full state of shock. We arranged a tow for the vehicle, and state police transported the driver to a hotel. The Transit was towed to local Ford dealer in Olean NY, where they inspected and test drove the van two days after the incident, and could not find any issues. After a three day stay at the hotel, the driver drove the van back to Canada and directly to a Ford dealer where we have serviced it since new. This dealership also could not identify an issues with the vehicle. The service manager stated he would inquire with Ford Canada and Ford USA and advise us. That's the last we heard from them. The vehicle has been sitting in our yard for a month and a half as the regular driver refuses to drive it again, and we cannot in good conscience ask anyone else to drive it. We have reached out to our Ford dealer, as well as to Ford Canada, with full documentation via registered mail and email, in an attempt to reach some kind of conclusion and resolution. All our attempts have thus far been ignored. We don't know how to proceed. Any suggestions on what could have caused this, and how to get Ford to acknowledge our issue and respond would be appreciated.
 

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That is scary. If you can't pull the key and kill it there needs to be a big red button somewhere like at the gas station. I also have not heard of this exact thing before but I have not been around that long. My guess is it was water intrusion on the computer or harness caused by melting snow and ice but that is only a guess. I seen my old 2015 freak out when the water got on things. It mainly had the AC stuck on in the cold and a light that would stay on. The 2020 did well in a big rain the other day but I have not driven with it covered in ice and snow.
 

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According to his statement, the brake pedal became inoperational, steering became stiff, while the vehicle continued to cruise at approximately 75 km/h, without his foot being on the accelerator pedal (this Transit does NOT have cruise control).
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This sounds like almost any car on the road today when the car stalls or gets turned off. I had a Dodge Ram 1500 stall and it took everything I had to apply enough brake pressure to stop it.

The driver was also able to turn the ignition key to the ‘off’ position and physically remove the key, and the vehicle still continued moving forward.
That has got to be the most dangerous thing you can do to a moving vehicle. Removing the key locks the steering wheel. In a moving truck? Jeebus he is lucky he didn't kill anyone. He is even luckier he was able to turn the key when he put it back in. I've had times where I can't do that when it's parked, and have to wiggle the steering wheel.

Any suggestions on what could have caused this, and how to get Ford to acknowledge our issue and respond would be appreciated.
Ford is probably as stunned as everyone else here. The amount of compounded failures required for this series of events to take place is astounding. To not have any of these systems that experienced total failure throw a code, log an event, or still be in a failure state is also incredible.
 

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IMO if Ford cared they would have sent someone or borrowed it and hooked it up. I'm pretty sure the dealer isn't going to do anything if they can't make a buck.

To the OP I'd install a kill switch, maybe to the fuel side.
 

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That has to be the scariest malfunction I’ve ever heard of.
 

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That has to be the scariest malfunction I’ve ever heard of.
Steering linkage fell off on my brothers F250 while he was driving on the highway. ZERO control of steering. Almost as scary.
 

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Wow... this is scary. Just wonder how many have been reported in North America? Perhaps the new vehicles require the installation of a black box like those in the commercial airplane.
 

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Remember when this was an issue with the early model Toyota Prius? The official conclusion at the time was human error but I believe the prevailing theory is much more interesting.


The possibility of a similar malfunction in the Ford to the Prius is exceedingly low as now there is built in redundancy to prevent it. But still interesting and worth a listen.
 

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Wet air filter caused throttle body to ice up. That’s my theory anyway. Doesn’t explain why the key didn’t shut it down, but maybe driver was so panicked he didn’t give it enough time.
 

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Perhaps the new vehicles require the installation of a black box like those in the commercial airplane.
Many new cars have data event recorders in them. They measure speed, temperature, pressure on the brake pedal, what volume the radio was at, was the climate control on, wipers on, etc.
 

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What could possibly case the brakes to become inoperable? Speed sensor erroneously reads that wheels are locked?
Would need to be a failure on both circuits I would think, so that leads to control module issue? I'd like to think there would be a failsafe.
 

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Many new cars have data event recorders in them. They measure speed, temperature, pressure on the brake pedal, what volume the radio was at, was the climate on, etc.
The owners manual indicates the presence of a data recorder. I was under the impression that the only have the capability to maintain a limited amount of data that is overwritten unless they sense an an accident by airbag deployment or other sensors (G-force?). The fact that the van was driven back to CA might mean the data has now been overwritten. I wonder if the first Ford dealer that first looked at the towed vehicle pulled the data. I'd like to think so, but ...
 

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The Transit does keep track of the total number of hours the engine has been in idle for the life of the vehicle, You can view that with the dash display. - Posible unlimited memory for everything else.
 

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Many new cars have data event recorders in them. They measure speed, temperature, pressure on the brake pedal, what volume the radio was at, was the climate on, etc.
This! and color me skeptical.

Ever since the 1980's when random octogenarians claimed incidents of auto acceleration in their Audi's, every vehicle company has included some level data recording. These became more and more sophisticated as the years passed by - but remained largely undocumented.

Since at least 2014 many have included real time data links. For example, my 2014 Audi and 2017 AMG certainly have.

All the OEMs are data mining the crap out of their vehicle fleets to figure out design data for the next generation, plan for autonomous vehicles, safeguard against frivolous law suits etc. MB have been known to refuse warranty on stealthily modified AMG's and have refuted accident claims based on vehicle data. Basically, at least MB vehicles can figure out if they have been modified and report that to MB remotely!!!

As reported, many aspects of this incident make no sense at all. I find it hard to believe the Dealer didn't download the data log and Ford engineers will have looked at it already. Saying they "couldn't find anything" could be their code for driver error.
 

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The owners manual indicates the presence of a data recorder. I was under the impression that the only have the capability to maintain a limited amount of data that is overwritten unless they sense an an accident by airbag deployment or other sensors (G-force?). The fact that the van was driven back to CA might mean the data has now been overwritten. I wonder if the first Ford dealer that first looked at the towed vehicle pulled the data. I'd like to think so, but ...
 

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Consider me a skeptic as well. Even the Transits relatively small brakes should have no trouble bringing it to a stop even with a sticking throttle. Killing the ignition would cut power accessories, so at that point I’d believe braking would be difficult. If his phone was paired with the van, Ford already has the telematics, and if they saw something abnormal, they’d certainly try to take possession of it.
 

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As reported, many aspects of this incident make no sense at all. I find it hard to believe the Dealer didn't download the data log and Ford engineers will have looked at it already. Saying they "couldn't find anything" could be their code for driver error.
I don't know the answer, but can a dealer do a "deep dive" into the system? It seems like the dealer hooked up and saw no codes so they stop and say no codes can't do anything for you.

Why would Ford open itself to a recall, court battles are cheaper.

Just an opinion
 
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